I live for the drama of a teen psychological thriller, and Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards is no exception.
One year ago, Cleo’s boyfriend Declan drowned during a river rafting trip with their friends. Even though she has a new boyfriend now and is waiting for a scholarship to Michigan State to become a forensic scientist, she’s never really been able to leave Declan in the past. This makes it all the more chilling when on her eighteenth birthday, she starts to receive a cryptic and vaguely threatening clues leading her on a scavenger hunt, one that’s increasingly all about her rocky relationship with Declan. All her friends deny their involvement, even her brother Connor, so it’s up to Cleo and her best friend Hope to chase down the clues, racing the clock to keep their secrets from getting out, and hopefully to find out just who’s behind this – friend, foe, or Declan himself.
This is a vividly drawn and fast-paced story, full of twists, flashbacks, and revelations of all kinds. It engages with issues of race, domestic violence, blame, poverty, and trust, but is also full of loving, supportive friendships and family relationships.
If you loved All Your Twisted Secrets, One of Us is Lying, or Five Total Strangers, you’ll love Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards.
This title is also available on Overdrive.
Wow! This is a great book for travel dreamers or doers. Subtitled A Rough Guide to Travel Adventures by Greg Witt, Ultimate Adventures showcases all sorts of exotic locations — some places I’ve never even heard of, but now can’t wait to see. And though there are many adventures which are geared more to the adrenaline junkie, there are still plenty of “soft” experiences for the more conservative traveler. For instance, I know I’ll never ever attempt a 51-day ski trip to the South Pole or ice diving in Russia’s White Sea. But maybe I could handle hiking New Zealand’s Milford Trek, as I’ve had friends who’ve successfully completed it.
One handy feature is a 5-star rating system covering 4 elements: physical, psychological, skill level and wow! factor. This is designed to help the reader decide if this trip is a good match for their abilities. For example, climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro is ranked high (4) for the physical endurance required, only a 2 for the skill level needed (it’s basic hiking, not technical rock climbing) but it scores a 5 for Wow factor.
It’s well-organized (by continents); the photos are breathtaking and the descriptions should inspire even the stodgiest couch potato. As a librarian, I don’t need to buy many books, but I do plan to purchase this one!